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School Programs

Come to the Barnes, or we’ll come to you. Our programs will nourish your students’ imaginations and serve your curricular goals.

Professional Development

The Barnes offers many ways for teachers to expand their learning and integrate art into their classroom curriculum. Join our Teacher Advisory Board or take a class or workshop. New this year, you can earn Act 48 credits for some classes and workshops. Learn more below, and sign up for teacher emails to be notified of all future events.

Summer Educator Institute

Wednesday, July 31 – Friday, August 2; 9am – 3pm
$150; $75 School District of Philadelphia employees
This 3-day institute focuses on the power of using art to teach, to heal, and to connect with students using creative object-based teaching and social-emotional learning strategies. Join us for hands-on workshops led by Barnes educators and special presenters, exclusive access to the collection and special exhibition, and the opportunity to prepare for a class field trip to view Mickalene Thomas: All About Love this fall. The institute also includes:

  • Opportunities for networking and art making with peers
  • Free parking, Barnes shop discount, and daily raffle prizes
  • Coffee and tea daily, with catered lunch on Friday
  • Complimentary access to Barnes collection during the week of the institute, plus a pass to return with family or friends
  • Resources for classrooms, including lesson plans and ideas for integrating art across the curriculum into content areas such as English language arts, math, science, and social studies.
  • Sneak peek of works in the upcoming exhibition Mickalene Thomas: All About Love, and priority access to this special exhibition with your students

Registration opens soon. Subscribe to teacher emails to stay up to date.

Teacher Workshops

The Barnes is committed to our education community and meeting the needs of students and teachers by offering professional development opportunities. Hour-long workshops led by Barnes educators are available to groups of 8–100 for $10 per person. Self-guided admission to the galleries before or after your session is available for an additional $5 per person. Choose from the workshops below or let us customize a course to your needs. Catering is available for an additional cost. Learn more below and request a session today.

Project-Based Learning; 1 Act 48 credit hour
This workshop will familiarize teachers with the core principles and best practices of effective project-based learning (PBL), using the Barnes’s Art of Math Challenge as a case study. Educators will identify the core principles of effective project-based learning and grow their understanding of and comfort with project-based design and project-based instruction.

Arts Integration and Early Childhood Education; 1 Act 48 credit hour
What can our youngest visitors gain by spending time in museums, learning from art, and making art? Join us as we discuss strategies and best practices for arts integration in early childhood education.

Object-Based Learning; 1 Act 48 credit hour
This session, which utilizes the Barnes’s VXP (visual experience platform), will allow educators to grow their understanding of and comfort with object-based learning pedagogy, expand their ability to use art to teach other content areas, and increase their comfort in using technology to teach about art and other content areas.

Arts Integration and Literacy; 1 Act 48 credit hour
How can art support the study of English language arts in the classroom? Learn effective strategies for integration with literacy.

Arts Integration and Social Studies; 1 Act 48 credit hour
Art is the perfect tool for supporting learning about cultures, history, and geography. In this workshop, we will discuss best practices for using art to teach social studies.

Email us for additional information on teacher workshops.

Classes with Act 48 Credits

The Elements of Art; 75 credit hours
Fourteen 3-hour sessions will increase your understanding of art-related concepts, the ways you think critically about art, your ability to communicate about art, and your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own. This class is offered on-site in the Barnes collection or online. Enrollment and scholarships for spring semester open November 15.

The Traditions of Art; 75 credit hours
Fourteen 3-hour sessions will focus on the developments in the painting and sculpture of Western Europe. Examining how all artists—including modernists working in the 19th and 20th centuries—learn and adapt earlier traditions. This class is offered on-site in the Barnes collection or online. Enrollment and scholarships for spring semester open November 15.

Additional Classes

The Barnes–de Mazia Adult Education Program builds on Dr. Albert Barnes’s groundbreaking approach to teaching visual literacy through art. When you take a class with one of our expert instructors, you’ll not only increase your understanding of art-related concepts, but you’ll also sharpen your critical-thinking skills and grow a deeper appreciation for cultures and histories outside of your own. Classes take place on-site and online; utilizing innovative technology that allows you to get up close to art in ways you haven’t before. If you think you need an art background to take a class at the Barnes, think again: curiosity is the only requirement.

Scholarships are available. See all classes.

Teacher Advisory Board

The Teacher Advisory Board (TAB) is a cohort of Philadelphia-area pre-K–12 educators who share our belief that art has the power to improve minds and transform lives.

The board meets with Barnes School Programs staff three times a year to discuss ideas for new programs and educational resources that align with curriculum standards and encourage students to make personal connections with art. TAB members receive complimentary Patron-level memberships, which include free admission and deep discounts for a full year.

Applications for 2023–24 are now closed. Sign up for teacher emails to be notified of future openings.